Lake Effect

When I was a teenager, I thought a lot about leaving Erie.

That desire to flee one’s hometown is probably endemic to teenagers everywhere, though.

In the years I have been living in Pittsburgh — not surprisingly — Erie has changed and grown. Now visiting as an adult, I find Erie a fun get-a-way, and a great place to go with my kids, in no small part because my parents live there still.

Yesterday we got home from a picture perfect weekend. The weather was ideal; the kids were fantastic; and much fun was had by all. I went to a spa (yes, Erie has a spa, has for about 10 years now — who knew?), out to dinner with my best friends in the entire world, met my husband for drinks when he final managed to get away from work and make the 2-hour drive. And that was just Saturday.

My best friends and I in front of the Freeport Bar. The conversation was awesome.

Sunday, I was forcibly (in a good way) reminded how fantastic roller coasters are to ride. I got to enjoy an amusement park — a far cry from the Waldameer of my childhood — and a water park with my children. Flora and Kate shrieked through every ride. The most fun was Waldameer’s version of the LogJammer — my dad water bombed the car my mother, Kate, and I were in. We got soaked, and I loved it.

The park worked out perfectly; we strolled around for a while with my parents and my Aunt N (one of my father’s sisters) and the three kids, then they took Michael home while Dan, Flora, Kate and I went to the water park.

We went on (almost) every water slide. I chickened out on the enclosed slides. It was so refreshing to just be a party of four, where we could pair off easily. Not surprisingly Flora wanted to be with her daddy, and Kate wanted to be with me.

The weekend was just delightful. We saw family and friends, ate good food (well, mostly. The Saturday restaurant was perfect if you liked fried food and meat. But the company made me really not care that my cheese raviolis clearly came out of a bag),  and the joy I took in my children, whether we were riding down water slides, running with sparklers, or just cuddling on the couch at the end of a long day, was just a reminder of how great a love I have. How blessed I am in my life.

Did I say “picture” perfect? Well, not quite. But it was still fantastic.